Shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017
The Magnitude of My Sublime Existence is the account of a young woman's stay in the psychiatric ward of a large hospital. The only time she feels safe is when swimming; the only place, the sea, preferably underwater. Selima Hill's 17th book of poetry – her 14th from Bloodaxe – takes her back to the territory of her third book, The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness (1983), but this revisiting is quite different in style and mood. Over thirty years later, ‘this brilliant lyricist of human darkness’ (Fiona Sampson) is more able to chart and illuminate ‘extreme experience with a dazzling excess’ (Deryn Rees-Jones), with startling humour and surprising combinations of homely and outlandish.
'Selima Hill has a beguiling assurance which gives an odd authority to her troubled inner landscape.' - Elaine Feinstein, on behalf of the Judges of the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017
‘The collection's title is not ironical. There is magnitude and sublimity in this latest chronicle of a long, hard pilgrimage to inner freedom.’ – Carol Rumens, Observer (Poetry Book of the Month)
‘… to be blasé about a new book from Selima Hill would be an error. Stealthily, one small poem at a time, she has been accumulating one of the most remarkable bodies of work by any living poet.’ – Clare Pollard, The Poetry Review [on The Magnitude of My Sublime Existence]
Selima Hill reads 'Cow'
Selima Hill reads a poem from Gloria: Selected Poems. This film is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, edited by Neil Astley, which includes seven poems from Gloria read by Selima Hill.